If Indians fans were pretty tired of hearing about Kyle Schwarber by the end of the World Series, that’s understandable.
The Middletown native’s story was a television producer’s dream — New kid on the block returns from major injury to play in the biggest games of the year – and those types of stories tend to get beaten into the ground as a series goes on.
Especially when said player ends up playing as large a role in victory as Schwarber did.
While he missed nearly the entire regular season with a knee injury, it’s safe to conclude the Cubs would have had a much harder time ending their 108-year championship drought without the young slugger in their World Series lineup for four games.
He was on base three times in the Cubs’ Game 2 victory in Cleveland, including two hits, two RBIs and a run scored.
After being limited to one at-bat during the three games in Chicago because he was not cleared to play the field yet, he reached two more times in a 9-3 Chicago victory in Game 6 that forced the decisive Game 7.
And while Schwarber wasn’t in the game when the final out was recorded Wednesday night, he had done his part. The 23-year-old started the decisive 10th inning with a single to right field, his third hit of the night and seventh of the series.
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A pinch runner for Schwarber ultimately came around to score as part of a two-run inning, and the Cubs held on in the bottom of the inning to win it all.
When it was all over, Schwarber hit a team-high .412 while posting an on-base percentage of .500 (tied for the team lead).
The Cubs won three of the four games he started at designated hitter.
There may be questions about where to play the youngster in the future, but there is no doubting today he looks like a star in the making.
And he’s a World Series champion.